Arnab Goswami paid lakhs of rupees to the arrested former CEO of TV rating agency BARC to manipulate TRP in favour of Republic TV channels, the Mumbai Police has sensationally told a magistrate court. While submitting its remand note before a court, the Mumbai Police sought the extension of custody for Partho Dasgupta, the former BAFC CEO, who was arrested last week in connection with the TRP Scam case.
According to news agency PTI, Dasgupta ‘misused his official position and manipulated TRP of specific news channels broadcast by ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd such as Republic Bharat Hindi and Republic TV English.’
The remand note added that Dasgupta, who was serving as the CEO of BARC then, was ‘involved in the conspiracy along with Arnab Goswami and others for manipulation of TRP.’
The police alleged that Goswami paid Dasgupta and Romil Ramgarhia, former COO of BARC, to fudge TV ratings in favour of Republic TV and Republic Bharat. Goswami allegedly made payments to Dasgupta on multiple occasions, adding that the former BARC CEO used this money to buy expensive items. The police have seized some of these expensive items from his residence in Raigad when he was arrested last week, said a report by NDTV.
The magistrate, after going through the remand note by the Mumbai Police, extended the custody of Dasgupta till 30 December.
On 25 December, the Mumbai Police made a stunning claim accusing Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV of being involved in the fake TRP scam, saying that Times Now was dislodged from the number one position by manipulation of data. This was revealed in an extraordinary press conference by Milind Bharambe, Joint CP Crime of the Mumbai Police.
In some cases, the Mumbai Police said, the ratings appeared to be pre-decided, adding that a cartel of some of the top ex-officials from the BARC were involved.
Bharambe said that the BARC’s own findings were in line with what the Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had claimed in his press conference on 8 October. Goswami, for his part, has denied any wrongdoing.
Dasgupta was the 15th person to be arrested in the TRP Scam case. Earlier, the Mumbai Police had arrested Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani in the same case. He was later granted bail by a court in Mumbai. Another senior executive of Republic TV, Ghanshyam Singh, too was arrested last month.
Arnab Goswami was earlier arrested in an abetment to suicide case. The Republic TV founder had to spend a week inside a Navi Mumbai jail.